Labor have indicated plans to reinstate the minimum rates order – introduced by the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) – thrown out by the Coalition Government in April.
The plans were outlined in a response to the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) who had asked Labor for its position on the Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order 2016 (RSRO) and the RSRT.
In the letter, Labor condemned the involvement of prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and employment minister Michaelia Cash in dismantling the RSRO and the RSRT.
“Labor has committed to working with employers, employer groups and unions to bring back a bipartisan forum to establish safe rates of pay in the heavy vehicle industry,” the letter states.
“A government, and a minister who was genuinely concerned with the interests and safety of truck drivers, would have done what Labor suggested and brought all parties together to seek a fair and sensible solution.”
Labor said it understood concerns raised by many owner-drivers and are willing to find a workable solution.
“Governments have a responsibility to respond to and ensure road safety, based on the evidence and community standards,” the letter says.
“Labor understands that many owner-drivers had expressed concern regarding the effect of the tribunal’s most recent Road Safety Remuneration Order on the profitability of their business.
“Labor conceded there were deficiencies with the order, particularly the implementation arrangements and we consistently said we’d like to work with all parties to find a workable, sensible solution.”